Data sources and definitions

Warning View the most recent version.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please "contact us" to request a format other than those available.

Employment Insurance statistics are produced from an administrative data source from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. These statistics may, from time to time, be affected by changes to the Employment Insurance Act or administrative procedures.

The number of beneficiaries is a measure of all persons who received EI benefits during the reference week. This week coincides with the reference week of the Labour Force Survey, usually the week including the 15th day of the month.

In this publication, data for the most recent month are preliminary.

Regional EI data are not seasonally adjusted and therefore should only be compared on a year-over-year basis. These comparisons can be influenced by unusual spikes or declines in the end points of the period.

EI statistics indicate the number of people who received EI benefits, and should not be confused with data coming from the Labour Force Survey, which provides information on the total number of unemployed.

There is always a certain proportion of unemployed people who do not qualify for benefits. Some unemployed people have not contributed to the program because they have not worked in the past 12 months or their employment is not insured. Other unemployed people have contributed to the program but do not meet the eligibility criteria, such as workers who left their job voluntarily or those who did not accumulate enough hours of work to receive benefits.

The statistics presented in this publication apply to regular benefits. Regular benefits are paid to claimants who temporarily or permanently lost their employment. In order to be eligible for regular benefits, a person must have experienced an interruption of earnings, be capable and available for work and unable to find suitable employment.

Other information on data sources and methodology of the EI statistical program are available.